Plant Depot, my favorite general nursery in Southern California

On my way to Solana Succulents, Jeff Moore’s nursery in North County San Diego, I stopped at Plant Depot in the town of San Juan Capistrano. Plant Depot is a family-owned nursery that has been in operation since 1995. I’ve been there before and blogged about it here, here, and here.

Unlike Solana Succulents, Plant Depot carries everything from annuals to perennials, shrubs to trees, pottery to home decor. A display garden right off the parking lot showcases colorful succulents, bromeliads, and shrubs:

The steely blue beauties are Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’

Variegated ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)

Restio sp. (left) and Phylica pubescens (right)

Aeoniums, neoregelias, and orange carex

Small but beautiful neoregelias

Aechmeas and neoregelias for sale

I love the rich colors of these bromeliads

One of several tall urns beautifully planted with succulents and (in this case) a leucadendron. Not cheap, but instant impact.

Sedum nussbaumerianum and Furcraea macdougallii


Good selection of larger landscaping aloes...

...with gray, green, purple, red, and yellow leaves

Even ever-so-challenging spiral aloes (Aloe polyphylla). Maybe they’re easier to grow in Southern California’s coastal climate.

I did buy this decent-sized partridge breast aloe (Gonialoe variegata). I’ve killed my share of them, but I’m ready to try again.

One of several rare and unexpected finds, Pachypodium lealii var. saundersii

Plant Depot has a massive selection of succulents in smaller sizes

A rare bromeliad from San Marcos Growers, Orthophytum magalhaesii

Weird and wonderful ruffled opuntioid the color of freshly steamed spinach

Toddler-sized saguaros (Carnegiea gigantea), surprising to see in coastal California where I wouldn’t expect them to thrive

Echinocereus pentalophus, not rare per se, but definitely not a common sight in a regular nursery

Here’s a cactus I’d never heard of before, Tacinga inamoena ‘Marlon’s Dwarf’. Apparently it’s a prickly pear relative from Brazil.

Plenty of tall columnar cactus

And just 10 feet away, a water-loving gunnera, in just about every way the antithesis of an unthirsty cactus.

Plant Depot may be a “mainstream” nursery, but it definitely has its share of surprises tucked away here and there. That’s what makes it so exciting. There’s nothing better than being able to poke around and explore, not knowing what you might find.

Plant Depot is located at 32413 San Juan Creek Road in San Juan Capistrano. It’s open Monday-Saturday 8am-3pm, Sunday 9am-3pm.

© Gerhard Bock, 2022. All rights reserved. To receive all new posts by email, please subscribe here.


  1. Love the urn in photo #9 - beautiful colours and forms, expertly combined. The urn wouldn't be cheap on its own so I think it's a fair price. Lovely display gardens too.

  2. I've never been to Plant Depot, which is clearly a serious omission (especially as I live considerably closer to it than you do!). They have an impressive variety of plants I don't usually see in my local garden centers, like the Phylica and the Orthophytum. Spiral aloes seem to be popping up all over but still at hefty prices - I'd be tempted to bring one home but only if the prices came down as I think they're iffy here.

  3. I have many partridge breast aloe and they do great for me here in Phoenix! One plant that thrives in a shady spot in the Sonoran Desert! What a great nursery! Amazing plants!

  4. Their display garden is so colorful and vibrant, why would anyone need to look at a flowering plant again.

  5. I like the fact that so many nurseries and garden centres down your way have such gorgeous display gardens. It's visually appealing and really inspiring. With so many plants it would be hard to choose. Did you come home with anything?

  6. That Orthophytum magalhaesii caught my attention. I'm still on the hunt for an Orthophytum gurkenii...

  7. Yes love this local nursery. And if your a Senior you get 10% discount on Monday and Tuesdays🤗


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